Monday, November 17, 2014

The Dud Avocado

This book is one of those books that makes you wonder why you couldn't have thought to write it first. It makes you wish you could right as well as the author—it's that good. Written and originally published in the 1950s, The Dud Avocado, by Elaine Dundy, is more than a simple coming of age tale. It's the story of Sally Jay Gorce and how she tries to find herself amid the scandal and temptation of Paris in the 1950s. The story opens with her, walking through the city streets in an evening gown on the way to meeting her Italian lover.

The story is reminiscent of Plath's The Bell Jar and Moore's Chocolate for Breakfast in the sense that the female protagonist has to deal with difficult internal issues while navigating through the world around her. The story is enticing, captivating, and all-consuming. Sally Jay's life is as decadent as it is complicated and base. It is impossible to guess what will come at her next and what she will do to deal.

It really is an entertaining read and the fact that it's party autobiographical makes it all the more fascinating. Anyone who is a fan of Plath will enjoy this book and all girls and young women who have dealt or are dealing with hard times will see Sally Jay as a kindred spirit.

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